Great article. Really appreciate the work done by those volunteers. My two cents on keeping the character of the old huts. Great if it's reasonably possible, or if someone has the love for the place that they will go above and beyond. The main thing is to keep the huts. The people who built them and used them were pragmatic. I'm sure they would agree the best way to keep the network going, is to renovate the huts in the most practical way.
So many familiar places and people in that article! The photos are swish and really sell the landscape. A certain amount of publicity is good but I selfishly hope that some of these remote huts that I started visiting in 1971 don't become meccas for hoards of people from away due to the publicity! Therefore this article in a major publication leaves me with mixed feelings! [That the buildings have been preserved and in some cases given maintenance that will last many years is great and I applaud all the volunteers that have been involved. I've played a small part with hut maintenance but mainly do volunteer track cutting]
the issue is when a few places are promoted and most are never mentioned... promote the whole infrastructure and people will spread themselves around it and there will be impetus to maintain it... doing an article in a place that gets a lot of people looking at it on one track and one or two huts is the problem.. backpacker magazine in the states has hundreds of thousands of followers, they did an article on Iron lake hut, their facebook post straight away had dozens of people saying they were going to go there.... most people would only know a handful of tracks and huts in NZ especially from overseas... how many of the 900 huts never get mentioned but a handful of huts and tracks are thrashed in online media...
Yes "waynowski" that is what has happened with heavy media coverage and visitor centre promotion of Mt Brown Hut. The "nzgeo" article was largely dealing about Westland and there were photos of a few specific huts.
.. photos strangely including Old Woman Hut in Central Otago - a DOC maintained hut a long way from the coast!
I noticed that "madpom" and that is why I said largely dealing about Westland.
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